Paul Grzymkowski Passes Away at Age 72
Posted: April 13, 2021 in Other News
Fitness industry veteran and icon, Paul M. Grzymkowski passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on April 1, 2021 in Woodland Hills, California. He is survived by his devoted wife, Joanna Gunst Grzymkowski; brother Peter Grzymkowski; and sisters Margaret Halstead, Christine Grzymkowski and Karen Grzymkowski, as well as aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and his godchildren. Paul and his twin sister Christine were born on March 5, 1949 in Rochester, New York to Mary (Jacula) and Peter Grzymkowski.
His business experience started at an early age with several enterprising businesses throughout grammar school and high school. Along with maintaining a business major GPA of 4.0 throughout high school and college and lettering in the sports of wrestling and football, Paul (as a student) also owned and operated a building maintenance/landscaping company and a catering business. He received business degrees from Monroe Community College and Rochester Business Institute.
In April of 1980, Paul moved to Santa Monica, California to join his brother Pete as one of four managing partners of Gold’s Gym Enterprises, Inc. With the title of President and International Director of Gold’s Gym Franchising, Inc., Paul, during his 19-year tenure with Gold’s Gym redefined the business aspect of the fitness industry by developing the first comprehensive franchising system for facility operations. His efforts contributed to the opening of 535 franchised Gold’s Gym fitness centers in 47 states and 24 countries, with over two million members (by the time they sold the business in 1999).
During his years in the fitness industry, Paul developed extensive domestic and global fitness contacts and business experience pouring his whole heart into the work, creating what he called the “Gold’s Gym family.” He often hosted franchisees in his home with his fantastic cooking, warm heart and fascinating conversations. He stayed close to many of the people he worked with, especially Scott Johannessen, Rich Minzer, Derek Barton and Neal Spruce.
Paul made a positive difference in the lives of almost everyone he touched, and in return, his time with Gold’s Gym and all the business colleagues and franchisees he worked with meant the world to him. He really loved and lived Gold’s Gym and was largely responsible for the domestic and international growth of the well-known fitness franchise.
In 1999, after Gold’s Gym sold, Paul became a business and marketing advisor specializing in general business, franchising and licensing, strategic planning, along with dispute arbitration and negotiation. He sat on the board of three International Corporations and was involved with Health Engineering Group, GetCyced, Kaatsu-Japan, Nutrimost, Quicksilver Scientific, Original Quinton, Water & Wellness.
Paul met Joanna Gunst in 1992. They quickly fell in love, and in 1996, they purchased a home in Topanga Canyon, California. They were engaged in 2000 and married in 2015. They both felt so much gratitude to have found each other and that each year together was better than the last.
Paul was a very active and well-loved member of his Topanga community. He was head usher at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Pacific Palisades, a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and sat on the board of directors of the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum (a non-profit repertory theatre and academy) for 12 years.
He worked with many charitable organizations such as H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Eat), CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Arson Watch, T-CEP (Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness), The Topanga Trash Warriors, The Nature of Wildworks (animal rescue which was especially close to his heart) and cooked monthly for the ‘Topanga Sages’ dinner. He enjoyed Gourmet Cooking, Ballroom Dancing, and the study of Functional/Preventative Medicine.
Paul’s warmth, spirit and generous nature were evident in each and every aspect of his life, and he will be profoundly missed by the many people who were lucky enough to know him.
Due to the Coronavirus, memorial services will be family and closest friends only. The family is hoping to air the event on Zoom for people who cannot attend. More information can be found at www.forevermissed.com/paul-michael-grzymkowski.